beets 227

Because of our blood orange success, I was convinced that gore was the way to go when introducing bright red fruits and vegetables. I was wrong. I highly, highly recommend that you don’t offer new foods by saying this: “hey kids, we’re doing a mystery food tonight and it’s going to be bloody!”

The beets were rejected pretty quickly. Sam and Emma liked them for a tenth of a nanosecond before deciding that beets were horrible. Talk of garbage came up a few times, which I understand. Beets have a certain earthy quality; getting accustomed to them can take a while.. I’m not down and out on beets yet though… they have potential. Next time I’ll try to spruce them up with a little blood orange juice. We’ll see what happens….

ME: Hey what is this?

SAM: It’s not bloody.

LAUREN: I would guess that it’s reddish black on the inside.

ME: But what is the name of this?

LAUREN: Blood orange?

ME: It’s not blood orange.

EMMA: It looks like a little bit like juice.

ME: A little bit right, it’s really dark red like your red juice.  It’s like solid juice. Like your favorite, like cranberry juice.

EMMA: Yeah, I’ll smell it. (Sniffs) Yummy!

ME: Yummy? Does it smell so good?

EMMA: Yeah.

ME: What does it smell like?

EMMA: I want to eat it.

ME: Well let’s give everyone a chance to smell it first. Sam, what does it smell like?

SAM: Garbage.

ME: What do you think it smells like?

LAUREN: Yummy!

ME: OK, so two yummies and a garbage.

EMMA: I want to eat it!

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There may or may not have been talk about Asian pear tasting like raw potatoes. But strangely enough it wasn’t a deal breaker. Personally Asian pears aren’t my favorite variety. They’re a little hard, a little woody. Like biting into a birch tree. I like my pears to be on the softer side, the kind of fruit that gives with gentle pressure like a perfect summer peach. But despite my own leanings, the kids loved it.

ME: Guys, the mystery food that we’re doing today is called….

EMMA: What’s that mommy?

ME: This is our mystery food.

EMMA: Yew, I don’t like that.

LAUREN: Emma, don’t say that.

ME: Called….

LAUREN: Pear?

ME: Yeah, what kind of pear?

SAM: A leech pear!

ME: What?

SAM: A leech pear!

ME: A leech pear? No. It’s called an Asian pear. It’s from Asia. Kind of like persimmon but different. Let’s smell it first. Let’s see if it smells like a regular pear. What do you think?

SAM: No. It smells like flowers.

ME: Flowers?

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Satsuma

Satsuma oranges were all the rage in our house around Christmas when we were going overboard on all things citrus, from tangerines to mandarin oranges. And Satsuma oranges might just be the prettiest of the bunch with their beautiful green stems. It beats me why we waited so long to try them as part of our challenge, but I’m glad that we finally did. We didn’t get any earth-shattering reactions from the kids, but still a fun fruit to explore.

ME: What is this called?

LAUREN: An orange!

ME: Yeah, but it’s a special kind of orange. Have you ever seen an orange with the leaves still attached? See? The leaves are still attached.

EMMA: It looks like cranberry juice.

ME: We did an orange a long time ago.

LAUREN: But it was much bigger.

ME: Yeah, it was bigger and it kind of had a funny shape didn’t it?

LAUREN: Yeah. The ugly orange.

ME: Lauren you have such a good memory.

EMMA: It’s kind of like orange juice.

ME: OK, so be careful, I don’t want you guys to poke yourselves with the stem. These are special oranges and you find them in the grocery store with the stems attached. I don’t know why they still have the stems attached, but let’s see what it looks like on the inside.

(cutting)

LAUREN: It kind of looks like a clementine.

ME: It does look like a clementine. Smell it.

LAUREN: It smells a little different when it’s open. This smells a little lighter and clementines smell a little darker.

ME: What does it taste like?

LAUREN: It tastes like kind of sour, and kind of sweet. A little more sour and sweeter than a real orange.  Because it can’t taste the same.

SAM: It tastes like sweet potatoes.

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Black radish

After the success of last week’s watermelon radish, we decided to give another radish variety a try. Enter black radish. But we learned an important lesson this week: not all radishes are created equal. Some, like the watermelon radish, are pleasantly spicy. Others pack  serious heat. Fortunately Sam didn’t suffer permanent damage, but from his reaction you’d have thought he’d scorched his tongue. I think I’ve tested about all the radishes my kids can handle. No need to try any more, we’ve been there, done that, time to move onto non-radish food.

ME: OK, you guys are going to be really excited about this next one…

SAM: Green beans?

ME: What do you think this is?

LAUREN: A radish?

ME: Yeah, how did you know it’s a radish?

LAUREN: Looks like it.

ME: Oh my gosh, I don’t think it looks anything like a radish. How did you know?

LAUREN: Well it had that same shape and the same thing on the top, so I just guessed it was a radish.

SAM: It’s a bum bum.

ME: Stop.

ME: What color is it going to look like on the inside?

SAM: Bum bumish.

ME: OK, thank you.

LAUREN: Uh, pinkish? Red? Green? Pink or green I guess.

SAM: Booty color.

ME: Oh, my gosh!

LAUREN: White?

ME: Yep. Hard to believe, right? Smell it.

LAUREN: That smells a little bit like cucumbers.

SAM: It smells like a bum bum.

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Watermelon radish

Like our bean sprouts experience, watermelon radish was a total surprise hit this week. I had a feeling the kids wouldn’t like it because they didn’t like the red variety that we tried a few months ago. But because watermelon radish is so darn cute, I gave it a try. It’s a little sweeter and mellower than other radish varieties; if you’re not keen on radishes, you might just like this one. If you can find it…they’re not so easy to track down unfortunately, but higher end specialty markets (I got this one at Dean & Deluca) and the farmers’ markets are good places to look.

ME: We’re doing a quick mystery food guys, OK?

EMMA: It looks like canteloupe.

ME: It does a little bit doesn’t it.

SAM: No it doesn’t.

ME: What do you think it’s going to look like on the inside?

LAUREN: Pinkish.

ME: You saw it right?

LAUREN: No!

ME: Oh, I guess there’s a little red on the outside.

ME: Did you expect it to look like that? Do you know what this is called?

EMMA: A cranberry.

ME: It’s not a cranberry. Smell it, you might be able to tell from the smell.

EMMA: I want to hold it.

ME: What does it smell like?

SAM: A banana sauce.

ME: What do you think it is?

LAUREN: I don’t know. Kiwi or something?

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